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PPS 2: Planning and Nature Conservation
Statutory Framework: International Obligations

16. Species other than man do not recognise national boundaries and effective nature conservation cannot depend solely on national action. Government attached great importance to the various international obligations it has assumed and is determined to honour them. These international obligations underlie much of our legislative framework for conservation.
17. While there are many international measures which affect nature conservation legislation, the key measures are those summarised below; a detailed list of the range of measures is found in Annex 1.
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitats (the Ramsar Convention) requires Contracting Parties to designate suitable wetlands for inclusion in the Ramsar List and to formulate and implement their planning so as to promote the conservation of wetlands on the List and also, as far as possible, the 'wise use' of all wetlands in their territory.
The EC Council Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (The Birds Directive) requires Member States to take special measures to conserve the habitats of certain particularly rare species and of migratory species, including the classification of Special Protection Areas (SPAs).
The EC Council Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and Wild Fauna and Flora (The Habitats Directive) is a major EC measure in the field of nature conservation. Its overall objective is to promote the maintenance of biodiversity (ie the variety in natural wildlife), by taking account of economic, social, cultural and regional requirements. It gives effect to site and species protection measures both through the establishment of the Natura 2000 (European Sites) network, including the designation of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), and by modifying certain Articles of the Birds Directive so that the provisions relating to the protection and management of SPAs are virtually the equivalent of those for SACs.
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